Online content marketing professionals seem to be in rising demand these days with big brands starting to realise why content marketing should be given dedicated resources and budget, which forms an indispensable part of any holistic marketing plan. While with no doubt content marketers need to be equipped with a certain level of SEO knowledge, sometimes even a bit of web design and HTML skills, being a ‘charismatic’ content marketing guru takes much more than having a tech-savvy mind. Now ask yourself if you’ve got what it takes:
Be a storyteller
Content marketing is all about telling a unique story of your brand to the bloggers and site editors to give them a compelling reason to talk about your products. We don’t necessarily have to be a captivating writer like J.K. Rowling, what matters here is the marketing sense, an exquisite sense of what is newsworthy in the blogosphere. Start with knowing the USP of the products and the brand that you sell, their product appeal and their target audience. Knowing what your potential customers are most likely to talk about, whether it be family issues, baby talk, self-help or fitness tips, then you’ll know where your brand has to be seen and what sort of conversations to create to capture their eyeballs. Knowing the strengths of your brand or your clients will also help you generate potential ideas of online press releases, infographic or video content that act as link baits or magnets for citations and mentions.
Deciding on what is newsworthy is also an art in itself. What is newsworthy to your brand might not tick any boxes for the blogger you’re pitching to. Put yourself in their shoes and ask the following questions:
- How does the story fit into the tone and the theme of the blog?
- How will you tell the story if you were the blogger?
- What’s in it for me? Does the brand mention add any value to the story? Does it help create conversations and engage my audience?
- What’s the virality? Other than just the content piece, is there any other form of online content (e.g. images/ videos) that will help spread the virality on social media?
- How credible does the story sound? Any useful videos and authoritative resources that I can link to from the story to make it more trust-worthy?
List your answer to each of the above and you’ll be able to tailor make your story pitch to each blog you’re chasing after.
The art of outreaching and staying ‘in the circle’ with top influencers and bloggers can be seen as nurturing a plant. Dedicate your time and resources and watch it grow, and one day it will bear so much fruit that you’ll have a hard time choosing which one to pick! Your circle of blogger contacts will also branch out as you build your reputation as a personable and trusted content marketer whom bloggers love to work with and come back to. Needless to say, basics such as these are a must: always address a blogger with their real name rather than ‘webmaster’ in an outreach email, skim through their blog and have an understanding about their tone and audience before outreaching, be genuine about what your intent is and avoid starting your email with cliche lines (e.g. ‘I’m a a big fan of your blog and I think it’s of high quality’, totally reads to me that it’s a line taken straight from ‘Outreaching for Dummies’).
Every small gesture counts in making sure you’re personable and approachable. Have a think about how each blogger has different communication styles and tailor make your outreach accordingly. For example, if the blogger is very active and responsive on Twitter, it might be a better and much more interactive way to approach than emailing. ‘Stalking’ bloggers on their social accounts will also give you an idea of what they’ve been up to in their personal life, places they’ve visited etc. which might spark some conversations and take the relationship further. Try adding value to their tweets and posts too, by answering their questions in comments, or suggest anything else that might inspire them to develop their subject a little bit deeper.
Apart from the above, the most important personal quality to display is a great sense of humor. Not only that humor can act as a link bait, but it also helps you to survive the craziness of the ever changing landscape in the search industry.
So now tell me, what helps shape you into a content marketing guru?